I know! I haven’t been doing a lot of Saturday features lately, but the truth is I’m getting really behind on the stuff I need to cover, so I decided to stake out a couple of Saturdays for some of the older stuff I’ve got sitting in the hopper. I even heard a rumor that Vintage Vault may be returning next month!
Today we’re revisiting one of the little companies that spearheaded the partnership between video game and collectible action figures: Resaurus! I’m also celebrating the fact that I have finally completed my Quake II collection. Or is that re-completed? Because more than three years ago I reclaimed my Quake II figures from a storage tote to feature them here on FFZ only to have the Strogg Tank take a nose dive off the table and shatter at one of the joints. Holy shit, I was pissed! I took all the care in the world to lovingly pack these figures away where they rested safely in storage for years. Then, the one day I take them out the best piece out of the collection bites the dust. It’s taken me a while to finally replace him, but I got a great deal on him last week from a fellow collector.
And yes, he was still in the package! Granted, the package has seen better days. The bubble is dented, the card is bent, but I don’t care because this guy is coming out. Part of the damage is because he got shipped to me in a mailer bag, but to be fair, this guy is so freaking heavy that it’s hard to find him on a card that isn’t heavily shopworn. The front of the card lets the toy speak for itself, whereas the back shows off some of the other figures in the line. Resaurus’ packaging was never their strong suit, but their figures kicked ass, so let’s get this guy out and ready for action…
The Strogg Tank lives up to his name as he is an absolute beast of a figure, which is fitting because he was an absolute f’cker in the game. He stands about a head taller than Iron Maiden and he’s one bulky hunk of plastic. But as heavy as he is, I think his most impressive feature is the attention to detail that Resaurus poured into him. Unlike the other Stroggs, there aren’t a lot of organics left to this guy. I’m not sure how much of the body is suit or just robot, but the only exposed living tissue is his squishy lump of flesh that passes for his head. And even that has seen better days as he’s missing one of his eyes. It’s no surprise that he looks pissed and the only way he knows how to express his emotions is by firing rockets at people. Luckily he happens to have a rocket launcher mounted on his right shoulder.
From the neck down this guy is mostly comprised of gears, pistons, cables, and killing hardware. It’s a very busy sculpt that takes every opportunity to show off weathering and damage. One of my favorite examples of this is the prominent crater blown into the left part of his chest armor. It shows exposed wires and mechanics and it contrasts so well with the intact right portion that proudly bares his Strogg emblem. I also love the real springs in the pistons that attach his feet to his legs. That looks amazing, but as we’ll see in a moment, it wasn’t the most clever of design choices. Luckily the paintwork here has the chops to back up such a detailed sculpt. The military matte looks like real metal and the silver dry brushing that shows scraped paint and distress looks phenominal. I think the reason this guy looks so formidable is because he’s taken such a beating and is still standing there trying to kill you. The Strogg Tank just doesn’t give a shit!
Another very cool detail on the Tank is the set of exposed gears, which can be seen through the holes blown into his left leg armor. Even better, you can remove the panel and get a better look. And I’ll go you one further… the gears actually turn when you articulate the leg. So cool!
The Tank features fairly basic articulation, but it works for a guy who generally needs to just stomp around and shoot at you. His arms rotate at the shoulders and are hinged at the elbows. His legs rotate at the hips, are hinged at the knees, and hinged again at the ankles. His head turns and when it does the rocket launcher turns with it, so he can aim it just by looking. The launcher does fire, but the three rockets are all molded as one piece. Also, the head snaps back to the front whenever you let it go. I presume that’s a result of the mechanism that ties in with the launcher.
So, here’s the huge design flaw in this figure. Each of the ankles is attached to the legs by two relatively small cylinders. They’re the ones with the springs around them. These four cylinders are the only things holding that massive figure up. These are load bearing cylinders and they are in no way up to the task. Not only are they not thick enough to support this figure’s weight, but they are made of pretty brittle plastic that isn’t getting any stronger with age. These are what broke on my initial Tank when he fell off the shelf and the ones on this figure are already getting stress marks like they’re going to pop. There’s just no way this design was ever going to stand the test of time and I fully expect to have to replace this figure yet again sooner or later.
And that wraps up my look at Resaurus’ Quake II line. It was long overdue, as I featured the rest of this line all the way back in April of 2010. If you like what you’ve seen, be sure and check out my features on the rest of the figures. I absolutely adore this line, not only because they’re so much fun, but because they take me back to that really cool time when Resaurus had built up a little community of collectors around their website and the worlds of video games and toys seemed to intersect so seamlessly. Like most of the Quake II line, the Strogg Tank is not a difficult figure to find. The asking price tends to be all over the place, but if you’re in the market for one you should be able to nab a carded example for between $20-30. When you consider the age of the figure as well as the craftsmanship that is not a bad deal at all. I tend to think if he were on the pegs today he’d end up being in the $40-50 range, but then these days the only company that comes to mind that would be capable of turning out a figure like this would be NECA. Just watch out for those damn pistons and try to keep him from taking a shelf dive.